Once November arrives, the social networking sites come alive with those who want to express gratitude for something new every day. It's a lovely thought, and a great reminder to count our blessings, be they big or small. I'm not much for posting anything daily, but today I have been feeling the love and the gratitude for where we live. This is a crazy world we live in. There is so much to be disappointed in, and so much to be fixed or changed. But today, as I was driving through my neighborhood, instead of seeing the problems, I saw the things I love. I don't live in one of those neighborhoods that is considered desirable. I live in a neighborhood that is reasonably priced with schools that have a bad reputation in many ways. I have lived in this part of Kansas City for more than fifteen years. And after fifteen years here, in spite of its quirks, there is a lot to love here. Like this tree:
The trees in Kansas City are always beautiful, but especially in the fall. This particular tree is hanging over my driveway. It is one of the trees that is not only colorful, but also very healthy so as not to pose an immediate threat to my care or home. I love this tree, and the colorful ones that peak over the roof of my house when I pull into the drive.
While I am thinking of it, I love this house. Like the neighborhood, it has its quirks. Some of them came with the house and some we have inflicted on it, but I still love this house. It isn't big and it needs more fixes than I can list, but this is the home where I have raised my children. Our oldest two children may vaguely remember apartments before this house, but this is the home that has taken care of our family for so many years. In spite of its problems, I love it. This is also the home where we lived when all of our children headed off to school for the first time. Speaking of which:
I love this school. It has its ups and downs, but all of my children have attended this school for grades K-5. It may not meet the standards when we compare to other schools in nicer neighborhoods, and yet, my children have learned a lot here. And I love that we are part of the community formed by our schools. When I need to stop by the elementary school for PTA something-or-other and happen to have a teenager with me, I love that they get to see some of their old teachers and that they can't keep from poking around to see how things have changed since they moved up. I like that as my younger children move up through the schools, their teachers can easily connect them to a family since they know my older children. I love that I have friends (and my children have friends) who we have known since Kindergarten. And I love the teachers and staff who continue to stay in our district, in spite of its problems, and who keep working to make a difference.
Today, I am just grateful to be where I am. I am grateful for the familiarity that comes from living in the same place for a long time. I may hope for a bigger house with two bathrooms or a nicer neighborhood or better schools, but until that happens, there is a lot to love here.